A 3-D thermal discharge numerical model based on the Navier-Stokes equation, the k–ε turbulence model, and the temperature diffusion-controlled equation was developed to simulate the 3-D distribution of thermal discharge along a river-type reservoir under different discharge conditions, hydrological conditions and reservoir water levels. Results showed that the thermal discharge from the power plant would have a smaller effect on a deep-water reservoir. Neither 1ºC, 2ºC nor 3ºC isotherm appear in any scenario conditions. For dam water depths of 155 m and 175 m, a small envelope area of 0.05ºC isothermal line was predicted. The isothermal lines of 0.05ºC and 0.1ºC covered a small area in all scenario conditions. The temperature increase 500 m downstream of the discharge point was predicted to be less than 0.05ºC during dry seasons. The predicted stability time of the temperature increase in each layer was 20 days. It evidences the thermal impact intensity and the extent is different under three scenario conditions. The predicted space–time distribution of the cooling water and the temperature increase provide scientific bases for designing water intake and water management. In the future, the influence of thermal discharge on water quality and aquatic organisms of the reservoir will be discussed based on the simulation results of this study, that is, the variation law of water temperature caused by thermal discharge.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.